Branson as British prime minister

April 20 | Updated: Apr 21 2005, 05:43am hrs
Richard Branson, the billionaire owner of the Virgin group, would be the dream candidate for UK Prime Minister, according to a survey of more than a thousand executives.

Mr Branson, 54, received 63% of the votes for the candidate who would be best to replace Tony Blair as leader of the government in the poll, conducted by Leaders in London.

The executive conference organizer asked the managers to select their dream cabinet team. Billionaire Philip Green, who tried to buy Marks & Spencer Group Plc last year, was favorite for Chancellor of the Exchequer, with 50% of the votes.

The survey of 1,019 UK and European managers was conducted via e-mail from March 21 to April 4. Other members of the executives fantasy cabinet included News Corps Rupert Murdoch born in Australia and now a US citizen as foreign secretary, and Body Shop International Plc founder Anita Roddick as health secretary, the survey said.

Britain is due to hold a general election May 5. Prime Minister Tony Blairs lead narrowed to 6 percentage points over the opposition Conservatives in a daily poll by Populus to gauge voting intentions, the London-based Times said today.